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"M" Club Dean Smith Award:

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:15 am
by Media
UMaine bestows Dean Smith Awards on three athletes

ORONO, Maine — Sigi Koizar of the women’s basketball team, Jesse Orach of the men’s cross country and track and field teams and Sydney Veljacic of the field hockey team were honored on Monday as the recipients of the 2017 “M” Club Dean Smith Awards.

The awards are presented annually to the top male and female student-athletes at the University of Maine who have exhibited outstanding academic and athletic achievement along with citizenship and community service.

Koizar, of Vienna, Austria, and Orach of Gorham each won the Smith Award for the second straight year. ... -athletes/

Re: UMaine bestows Dean Smith Awards on three athletes

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:55 am
by Media
Black Bear Nation ‏@BlackBearNation
Koizar, Orach, Veljacic honored with prestigious "M" Club Dean Smith Awards #BlackBearNation


"M" Club Dean Smith Award:

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:18 am
by Tom Nolette
Black Bear Nation‏Verified account @BlackBearNation

"Jesse Orach: Outstanding at optimizing performance"


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Re: "M" Club Dean Smith Award:

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:57 am
by Tom Nolette
Leonard, Mace, Ridley honored with prestigious ‘M’ Club Dean Smith Awards

Orono, Maine – The University of Maine is proud to announce that Erika Leonard of the softball team, Kelby Mace of the men's track and field team and Kendra Ridley of the women's soccer team are the recipients of the 2018 'M' Club Dean Smith awards.

The 'M' Club Dean Smith award is the most prestigious award presented annually to the top male and female student-athletes. To be considered for this award, athletes are nominated by their coaches and must have demonstrated outstanding academic and athletic achievement, be of outstanding character and a contributor and leader within their community.

It was in 1992 that the 'M' Club named the award after former UMaine student athlete standout Dean Smith. In 1990 Smith had the top grade-point average among electrical engineering majors at UMaine and was the Northeast Atlantic Conference scoring leader in men's basketball. He was a three time Academic All-American, and he received the prestigious NCAA Walter Byers Award as the nation's top scholar-athlete.

Leonard, a senior from Rocky Hill, Conn., is a nursing major who boasts a 3.82 grade point average (GPA) and is a seven-time Dean's List honoree and a Presidential Scholar. A four-time America East Commissioner's Honor Roll selection, Leonard was a 2017 recipient of the America East Elite 17 award, presented to the student-athlete with the highest GPA among students competing in the championship in their respective sport. Leonard, a two-time America East All-Academic team selection, is a member of the Omicron XI Honor Society and Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society along with being a two-year member of the UMaine Athletic Department's Elite-13 group. On the diamond, Leonard was named to the America East All-Conference second team in and America East All-Tournament team in 2016 and earned a spot on the league's All-Rookie squad in 2015. In the past two seasons, Leonard has helped advance the Black Bears to the America East Title game, including a league championship and regional appearance in 2016. Aside from academics and athletics, Leonard is a tutor for student-athletes in anatomy & physiology and has spent countless hours volunteering for organizations like St. Francis Hospital, Eastern Maine Medical Center, The Wadsworth Glen Healthcare Center, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and the Ronald McDonald House.

Mace, a senior from Readfield, Maine, is a civil engineering major with a minor in creative writing with a 3.47 gpa. A three-time Dean's List and three-time America East Honor Roll honoree, Mace has also been an active member of UMaine's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In 2017, he was honored with a United States Track & Field Coaches Association All-Academic award. A three-year letter winner, Mace currently boasts personal bests of 6' in the high jump, 21'8" in the long jump and a mark of 43'8.5" in the triple jump. In his specialty event, the javelin, Mace threw 209'6" at the University of Central Florida in 2017, the third-best throw in UMaine history. Mace placed fourth at the prestigious Penn Relays in 2017, fifth at the New England Championships and fourth in the America East Outdoor Championships in the javelin. His marks earned him a spot at the NCAA Division I East Regional Preliminary Round held in Lexington, Kentucky, where he finished 42nd in the country. Mace has volunteered his time with Special Olympics along with spending numerous hours assisting with summer youth track and field programs.

Ridley, a senior and three-year captain from Ottawa, Ontario, is a nursing major with a 3.994 GPA, earning an impressive 43 A's and one A- over her time at the University of Maine. A seven-time Dean's List member and three-time Presidential Scholar, Ridley earned four selections to the America East Commissioner's Honor Roll and a pair of America East All-Academic team marks. She is a two-time member of Team Maine, representing the highest GPA on her team. In 2017, Ridley was honored by the UMaine College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture with its highest-ranking junior award, one of only four students to receive the accolade that year. A two-time America East All-Conference second team selection, Ridley also earned a pair of selections to the America East All-Championship team and a spot on the league's All-Rookie squad. Ridley started 60 of her 61 games she appeared in and led the team in minutes played in both her junior and senior seasons. The four-year letter winner has volunteered for the Healthy High 5K and the "Be The Match" Bone Marrow Drive while also offering her free time at the Ronald McDonald House. The Greater Bangor Multiple Sclerosis Chapter honored Ridley with its Shining Stars award for her work with the "Walk for MS" initiative.

The M Club, founded in 1932, is the letter winner association of the University of Maine and has been a fixture in supporting athletics since then. Varsity athletic competitions began at the University in 1881, and nearly 20,000 men and women have earned their letter in more than 30 different sports. It is through active letter winner and honorary member dues that the club has given financial support back to the athletic development for 86 years. The club's motto reads; "dedicated to Maine Athletics: past, present and future."

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